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Author's Chapter Notes:
Alright, its kind of scary, And you who are in it, I dedicate it to you! Please Rate and Review!! Thanx!
Disclaimer: I own none of Tolkiens characters. But the characters that I have written in are actual people and their personalities are their own. The plot is also mine. 'Fear death--to feel the fog in my throat, The mist in my face.'-- Robert Browning
I smiled, giving Lee a friendly punch on the arm.
“Ow! Look, cut it out, will you?” He snapped, glaring at me and smiling at the same time. I was enjoying this almost as much as he was, sitting on the bus snapping back and forth.
“Oh yeah, I forgot,” I smirked, rolling my eyes. “You bruise easy. Silly me.”
“Bitch.” He grumbled, running his fingers along his injured shoulder. But he said it with love.
“Bastard.” I hissed back, grinning my head off. The noise of the school bus roared in the background. The creaking and squeaking of wheels and the rattle of a poorly tended muffler rumbled so we all had to shout over the racket.
Alana started to say something but I couldn’t hear her. She had quite a deep, elegant voice for one of her small stature. She had a pale complexion, freckles, wavy russet hair and brown eyes that sparkled when she laughed. She had a high, quirky, snippet of a laugh, one that made you smile when you heard it. She also was one of those fortunate enough to possess a button nose.
“What?” I yelled, smiling. She was less than four feet from me and I still couldn’t hear her. Sleet sheeted against the slit windows, leaving behind a icy bite in the air.
“Did you finish your Latin homework?” She asked. I laughed, throwing my head back so it became a cackle.
“Oh, hon, you kill me! Me? Do homework? For Latin?” I snickered, catching sight of Amanda and turning to look at her.
“Hey, stupid.” I said, teasing. She bobbed her head hypnotically to something. Then I realized her headphones were still in. In one quick motion, I knocked them out of her ears.
“Hey!” She shouted, sounding sincerely hurt. Her blue hazel eyes glanced up at me, from where I perched on the edge of the seat. Chocolate brown waist length hair was pulled into a ponytail at the back of her head. Next to her sat Meg, my best friend from 4-H. Her auburn hair was shoulder length, she sported eyes so bright blue they took your breath away. She was a fellow fantasy freak, just like me. She had her beaky nose(god, she would hate me for saying that)buried in a book. Her real name was Margaret, but it sounded too weird to walk around calling her Margaret all the time.
I had just opened my mouth to say hi when I felt a strong punch to the small of my back. At first I thought it was Lee, and turned round ready to slap him. But instead, I saw Morgan, cerulean eyes agleam with a smirk.
“Mo!” I cried in greeting and gave her a hug. The blonde highlights in her long bangs bounced as she turned her head in a sharp gesture toward a certain seat on the bus. “Look who’s sitting over there.” She said, smiling. I looked and nearly jumped out of my skin.
“Oh my God! Is that Ryan?” I asked, eyes wide. The boys handsome face held a lion like quality, brown eyes and golden skin. In short, he was absolutely gorgeous. I had spent a lot of time just staring at him before, we had all met doing the make-up for CATS, the musical at school. And I, being the lucky girl I am, had gotten to do his make up. So…staring had been a necessity, even if I stared more for simple viewing pleasure than actually making him look like a cat.
Suddenly the bus slid sharply to the right and we all yelped in surprise.
“Holy shit!” Screamed Amanda with her unending vocal eloquence; as her momentum carried her into Meg. It jerked me out of my dreamy observation and I fell sharply into the bus aisle. We were going down one of those back roads, you know, the ones people go along every thousand years? Well, anyway, The bus driver, the notorious Bob, an ancient guy who shouted at the tiniest provocation roared some unintelligible threat and we all shut up and scrambled back to our seats. He managed to get the bus back on the road and we drove along for about a minute before everyone returned to normal comfort level within the vehicle.
“Whoa…” Lee said, bracing himself against the seat in front of him. Alana had clung to him in a effort to balance herself, digging her infamously sharp finger nails into his arm. He jerked it out of her grasp in pain and stared at his arm.
“Uh…ow.” He said, eyes widening when he saw the damage. He rubbed his wounds and swore. Jessime was clutching her head and babbling in her British accent with such speed one would have had to record the sounds and play them back slowly, so as to derive their meaning. Angelica had landed on her boyfriend, Michael, and appeared to have sustained no injuries.
“That was close.” I said slowly, dusting myself off. I saw other kids getting up from the floor, shaking their heads, dazed.
“Sorry ’bout that,” Bob shouted gruffly. “The visibility’s crap and the steering is all shot to hell.” He shouted back to us, looking in his rearview mirror.
And then when I saw it. We all saw it, less than a hundred yards in front of us. A tree. A huge tree right in the middle of the road. I was struck dumb, like a deer in the head lights. And then I heard the earsplitting screams of terror and shouts of warning. I added my own voice to the din without actually realizing it. Bob swerved left and I felt my shoulder slam against the window, blindingly painful. And then we spun, spun crazily on the ice, like a whirly-go-round on overdrive. The back of the bus struck the tree three times, jarring the bus like a massive hand. It slammed into the tree for a fourth time and then we tipped down, toward the ravine, a hundred foot steep incline.
It happened so quickly, so suddenly, and then it all slowed time to a crawl. Like some dramatic angst-filled movie scene, I was forced to watch as it tipped and I was thrown forward to the right side of the bus. I was crushing someone, a living, breathing, screaming someone. Then it sped up again and we flipped on and my body crashed down onto the roof, my head smacked against the metal, and blackness took me.
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